Compare and contrast Othello and Lago

Compare and contrast Othello and Lago

Othello and Lago are the main characters in the play Othello. There is huge disparity in their character traits and they are seen to contrast each other. Their character can be compared basing on their views on racist, vengeance, confidence, personality strength and general character traits. The purpose of this comparison is to enhance the understanding of the play since the story is based on their antagonism, (Newler, 29).

As a comparison, Newler says that both of them are strong. This can be seen when they were ready to attack the Turkish officers. It is also seen when they defended themselves against their opponents and fellow countrymen who were against them.

Ruckler argues that both Othello and lago were Jealous. Lago’s jealousy is seen when he envies the position of Othello in the army. Othello was higher ranking in the army than him. Othello is jealous from the fact that he intended to kill Cassio on suspicion that he had an affair with his wife.  Lago is jealous about the great marriage he had with Desdemona; which Lago didn’t have with Emillia, (Ruckler, 56).

According to Newler, Lago is depicted to be a racist; this is clear from the fact that he had a lot to say about Othello on his back despite him being his friend. His character is clearly manifested when he spoke to Roderigo and he reveals his true self, “were I the moor, I would not be Lago”.  Othello on the other hand is not racist, (Newler, 32).

Lago is vengeful because he took revenge on Othello for not appointing him as his officer, by lying that Cassio had an affair with his wife [Desdemona] and even going further to make suspicious acts and providing evidence. For example, he said that of the handkerchief given to Desdemona as a present by husband was found on Cassio’s bed, (Newler, 32).

According to Raloff,  Lago is evil. This can be seen from the fact that he doesn’t want anybody to succeed. He manipulates evils and pretends to be a good person to faces of others yet he talks on their backs, (Raloff, 35).

Othello is Confident; the was confidence of Othello is manifested  by his great desire to marry Desdemona, when he said, “let him do his spite___i fetch my life and being from men of royal siege-he has no concern about Desdemona’s father and feels he can have whatever he wants because of his status”. Lago on the other hand does not have enough, (Newler, 29).

Ruckler adds that there are some unique qualities for Othello includes: he is trustworthy character, he is commanding and leading, has a lot of pride. He is also Loving and emotional. He goes ahead to marry his wife despite the resistance he was going through. Lago is ambitious.  His ambition is seen when he plans to destroy Othello and Cassio because he intended to take up the power in the army, (Ruckler, 75).

The comparison between the two characters gives the basis of understanding the moral lessons of the play. This enriches the play be creating and sustaining interest in the play. 

Work cited

Newler, Martin. Play Othello; Summary and Analysis. London: McGraw-Hill publishers, 2000.

Raloff, Geoffrey. Study Guide to the Play Othello. Boston: Allyn & Bacon publishers, 2004.

Ruckler, Benjamin. Othello; Character analysis and plot summary. (3rd Ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2006.